from Elle UK, August 2004 / by Wendy Ide
As Lady Penelope in Thunderbirds, she’s the sexiest puppet-made-flesh in cinema history. But no one’s pulling actress Sophia Myles’s strings…
Things are about to get a little crazy for 24-year-old Sophia Myles. The vicar’s daughter from Isleworth, southwest London, plays Lady Penelope, the puppet sex symbol from 60s TV series Thunderbirds, in an eye-popping live-action update that’s one of the most expensive British films ever made. Sophia is about to become a love object for geeky Thunderbirds fans the world over – is she ready for the attention? ‘No,’ she says. ‘Not really, I’m just pretending that this isn’t real. I have a really good friend in Keira Knightley who has dealt with it so well. She doesn’t do the dark glasses and baseballcap thing, she just wal ks down the street. You’ve got to continue living your life – otherwise it’s so expensive! You have to take taxis everywhere.’
Her cut-glass accent and blonde hair make Sophia perfect casting for Lady P But she was convinced she was about to get fired only three days into shooting. ‘I remember the producer knocking on my door and saying, “I have to talk to you about something”. I thought, “Oh, my God, they’re recasting”. But he said, “lNe’re going to get you a movement coach”. Because I never wear heels and I’m quite heavy-footed and tend to clunk around, I had to have someone teach me how to walk like a lady!’ The rest of the wardrobe was no problem for Sophia, though, and she talks wistfully about a tailored suit made from Chanel fabric. ‘I always used to wear black and blue, but since doing the film I really fell in love with pink. Now I always seem to wear some element of pink, even if it’s just a pair of socks.’ Today’s item is an impossibly soft baby-pink wrap from Joseph.
Sophia, who’s single ‘for the first time in a while’, famously locked lips with Johnny Depp in the Jack-the-Ripper thriller, From Hell, and has just finished shooting a film version of the classic tragedy, Tristan & Isolde, opposite the gorgeous James Franco from Spider-Man 2. So how did he rate as an on-screen kisser, after Mr Depp? ‘James was pretty good, but kissing scenes in films is not the same. People think it must be so amazing, but really you’re just thinking, “Have I got a double chin?”‘
Thunderbirds is out on 23 July